In March 2018 I was asked to play at the British Dental Awards at the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow City Centre.
The Marriot hotel is a luxurious venue for any occasion and is always well worth a visit. When I walked through the door, I knew it was going to be a fantastic night.
Staff were making final preparations for receiving their guests, glasses were being polished, champagne bottles were being prepared, staff were going to and fro and I could tell there was a definite buzz in the air.
I was approached by a lady who I later found out was in charge of the entertainments company organising the event. I was then directed to the entrance to hotel and asked to play in guests arriving for the function for about an hour to make sure all the guests were greeted to the sound of the bagpipes.
As I struck up, the first of the taxis started arriving. Doormen in their tail coats and top hats stepped forward to open the taxi doors. Excited young dentists stepped out in exquisite ballgowns and sharp suits and bow ties entering the magnificently decorated reception area.
I could tell that the sound of my bagpipes was adding to the excitement and ambience of the evening. As I stopped playing, a taxi pulled up outside the foyer. A doorman assisted a young lady from her taxi. She ran across to me and I could tell that she was very excited. As I finished playing the Jig set “Out of the air,” she told me that she had been nominated for a prize but was more excited that her Dad was with her. Dad emerged from the taxi resplendent in tartan trews, mess jacket and medals. She excitedly asked me if I knew the Pipe tune ‘The Black Bear’. I was more than happy to oblige as Dad took his daughter’s arm and glided into the champagne reception.
It was time to play the guests to their tables for dinner. But this was a special night and it was not going to be as straight forward as playing next to the front door of the beautifully decorated dining room. I was led to the stage at the head of the room and told that I should stop playing when I thought everyone had taken their seats. Even though it was a ‘black tie’ event it did not stop the shouts and cheers from the guests, and I was even approached and asked for a few requests.
I stepped down from the stage and made my exit to ‘Scotland the Brave’. It was the first time I had a cheering, napkin waving standing ovation. It was a fantastic night!